Inscription in ink, front flyleaf: "This book was used by Abraham Lincoln when making his first great antislavery speeches, preceding the memorable campaign with Douglas. He quoted largely from Clay's speeches with wonderful effect. [Signed,] Jas. W. Somers (formerly of Urbana, Illinois, then a young lawyer and personal friend of Mr. Lincoln). [The closing parenthetical statement was added by Mr. Somers at a later time, and he continues:] In reading from this book I distinctly remember that Mr. Lincoln, for the first time, used spectacles, apologizing to his audience, saying that he was not as young as he used to be; this was, I think, in the fall of 1856. James W. Somers."
Business card affixed to front lining paper: James W. Somers, attorney at law and notary public ... Urbana, Illinois
Includes tipped-in leaf (25 x 20 cm., folded to 20 cm.) preceding contents p. containing inscription in ink on plain verso of lined paper: "James Somers, I personally know to be a most worthy member; whether he can be promoted must be left to the secretary. A. Lincoln, June 11, 1863."
Includes excised newspaper column affixed to prelim. p. endorsing the Whig ticket, including Henry Clay for president, from Southern Watch-Tower, Fayette, Mississippi, and dated Nov. 2, 1843
Includes marginalia on 27 pages, either annotations by Lincoln or indications of passages having been read by Lincoln in his speeches
Annotation in pencil, p. 281: "Quoted by Lincoln in his first great anti Nebraska speech at Urbana, Ill. from this book."
Frontispiece portrait of Clay opposite etching of "The birth place of Henry Clay, Hanover Co., Va."
Inscription in blue pencil, prelim. p.: James W. Somers, bought of [continuing in grey pencil] Thos. A. McSaurie, Urbana, Ill
Book is item No. 81 listed in Library of the late Major William H. Lambert of Philadelphia; Part I, Lincolniana, First Section. Acquired from Major Lambert's collection from 1914 purchaser. Provenance of book further proven through damaged and repaired spine (apparently burned in a fire in the Lambert library)
Purchased from Goodspeed's Book Shop, Inc., 18 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Bound in decorative embossed leather boards, with remains of earlier leather spine with (gold stamped lettering) affixed to this spine, with marbled facings